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Ibanez Artcore AGB140 advice

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by silent89, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. Ok so I'm new here and just trying to get some information on a bass im extremly seriously considering buying (already started saving, and could have enough by the end of the month :D)

    Originaly I was going to be some cheap acoustic, just to mess around with, but then it was going to be a slightly more expensive acoustic. Now at the moment I'm playing on a cheap yamaha I picked up because I was just starting bass, and If im gonna put some money into this I might as well get something I can use for stage playing as well.

    The AGB140 was what I picked. Its got the les paul body shape which I love, the colour is awsome, and it makes me very happy.

    Now my predicament: its going to be very hard to get in Australia, so I'm making an effort to get advie here while on my search for a store that has or will import one for me (not a fan of buying online).

    So my 2 biggest questions are:

    1. Exactly what kind of noise level can I expect from the acoustic side of this? It is mainly just for show or could I actually play with this and get something significantly better then playing my eletric unplugged?

    2. It only has 1 pick up, which has made a few of my musical freinds cringe in terror. What can I expect from this lone pickup when plugged in, quality wise is it up to scratch and will it effect the max volume levels?

    3. any extra advice about this or semi-acoustic basses in general?

    Sorry for the long-ish post, just prefer to give some detail about my questions.
  2. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I've played that Artcore many times in a store near where I lived. It's a very nice sounding, well made bass.

    Don't expect much of an acoustic sound from it. There's a solid centre block so it's more solid body than hollow. You won't get much more sound unamplified than any lightweight solid body.

    The pickup is excellent and the sound with the factory roundwounds is a bit like a Stingray because of the humbucking pickup and its placement. I think it's a bit meatier though. Others have reported it sounds great with TI flatwounds and is a great bass for rock and pop type things. A few have said to me that they have recorded with it and it records very well. There's no lack of bottom end. Pretty well balanced sound. If I got one I wouldn't want to change the pickup or convert it to an active circuit. I think it's a very good package as is.

    The controls are passive-volume and tone. I could detect no hum or noise at all.

    The neck is a bit meatier than most Ibanez basses. Reminds me of a Gibson in a way, due to the shape, but I find it very easy to play. Not tiring at all. The fretwork is excellent. They are well finished and very comfortable to play. All the hardware including the bridge is of high quality.

    Overall finish is excellent and when you see the bass in person it looks like it's a much more expensive instrument than its price would suggest.

    I plan to buy one myself soon. It's not that I need another bass but I sure do like this one.

    Don't know what else I can tell you about it. The store in Toronto that carries it has sold several and none have been returned. Another store that carries it is always sold out. A couple staff members bought them as soon as they came in.

    In the end it comes down to personal taste of course, but if you bought one and didn't like it, I don't think you'd have any problem selling or trading it.

    Edited to add-you can get a wide variety of sounds from it with your right hand position so there's nothing to cringe about sound wise. I think it's be quite versatile and suitable for pro use. I've been playing for more than 45 years and I have been through a lot of instruments.

    One more edit-I played it through a variety of amps-A Yorkville XM50C, a Yorkville XM200T, An SWR LA series with one 12 and a Fender 150. I managed to crank it a couple times when the store was empty and it sounds good. No tendency to feedback. Lots of sustain.
  3. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    one pickup issue...

    ever see a Fender P bass or a Musicman Stingray?
    seang15 likes this.
  4. sincity


    Oct 16, 2002
    I love the Artcore as well, but I the playing position when standing was awful.

    The 12th fret was positioned on the outside of my left hip, which made the reach to the 1st fret very long. Could be (is for me) a real issue for long sets and left hand fatigue.

    If someone could come up with a better solution for bringing the bass back to a more traditional playing position, I would buy one of these in a hearbeat.
  5. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    This might work, but I confess, I've never tried it.
    Mount the rear straphook on the back of the body a few inches from the butt end of the bass?
  6. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    If they made a five-string version, I'd buy one.

    Good plugged in tone, not much of an unplugged tone. For the price, it's a pretty nice bass. It's pretty well made, and has a comfortable neck.

    If you want something to fool around with unplugged, though, you'd be much better off with a used Godin A4 or an actual ABG. The Godin isn't terribly loud unplugged, either, but it's significantly louder than the Artcore, and won't produce the horrific feedback that plagues most ABGs.
  7. Alan U

    Alan U

    Jul 12, 2005
    North East London
    Well, I've just ordered one and can't wait for it to arrive.
    I did quite a bit of research around the net, and no-one seems to have a bad word for it, apart from little niggles about the strap button position.
    It is so gorgeous...........

    I've bought the flatwounds for it and the case is on it's way from Germany.

    Getting quite excited, I must admit.
    I promise to let you all know how much I love it when I get my hands on it :)

  8. Collin.A


    Jun 22, 2005
    I've had an artcore for quite a while now. To address some of the questions about it...

    First, if your looking for a bass to play unplugged anywhere outside of just alone time practice the artcore really wont satisfy your needs.

    Second, the single pick up actually isn't too bad on the artcore. Personally, I love the tone I get out of it, and you can get a lot of versatility out of it from just various playing styles and amp settings.

    Third, as far as advice goes, I personally love the artcore and I recommended it to anyone looking for that style of a bass. By the way, I changed the tone pot to a different value before I was really happy with the sound. (I don't know what your price range is, but you might want to check out the lakland hollowbody bass as well, it’s a cool grand more expensive but unbelievable.)

    Note: I play an ASB 140 rather than the AGB140, but I'm pretty sure the only differences between the two are cosmetic.
    seang15 likes this.
  9. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    I bought one to use in quieter or acoustic situations ... originally I planned to add a "Dark Star" pickup and still might but I've found I really like the stock pickup. Not a real acoustic bass with the center block, it's got a great thumpy tone with flatwounds though. Fit and finish is first rate, all in all it's a keeper.
  10. Alan U

    Alan U

    Jul 12, 2005
    North East London
    Hi Kenny; glad you like it.

    Are dealers in other countries as thick as they are here?
    No one, but no one here stocks the case.

    It's an instrument that won't take kindly to being knocked about, and it won't fit any other case. So I'd have thought that they would sell a case with almost every guitar.

    I e-mailed one Ibanez dealer whose site shows the AGB140 in stock to see if they had a case. After five days they replied that they had a case that might fit but they didn't have an AGB140 to try it with!!!

    They don't deserve to be in business.
  11. mwig


    Aug 6, 2005
    fresno, ca
    I've had an artcore for about 6 months. I bought it because it played well and I like the looks of it. Without an amp it is pretty weak compared to a traditional acoustic bass. Playing with a strap is pretty uncomfortable after awhile. It does not have any rounded edges so it kind of digs in and the neck position isn't great. I play for maybe a song or two during a set just for the look, then I put it back and play my Carvin or Warwick which are infinitely more comfortable and a lot more versatile.
    seang15 likes this.

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